Riihenmäki School, Mäntsälä, Finland

The site

The Riihenmäki combination school has about 700 pupils and 60 members of staff. When the school building was extended and renovated, the classrooms, dining hall, teachers’ offices, corridors and lobbies were refurnished and turned into learning environments that strengthen the culture of the modernised school. It was only natural that the teaching staff and other employees were actively involved in developing furniture solutions.

The solution

The learning environments of the school reflect pedagogical diversity and suitability for both different ages of pupils and various learning styles. Some classrooms have been furnished as flexible teamwork spaces, while others are equipped with solutions that are more suitable for self-directed, independent work. Small, separate rooms connected to larger learning spaces provide a peaceful environment for tailored teaching while the rest of the class is studying in the larger room.

What is particularly remarkable in Riihenmäki School is the use of corridors. With cost-effective furniture solutions, it was possible to put corridors into effective use by turning them into parallel learning spaces during lessons. Outside lessons, they provide a communal space for relaxation, hanging around and meeting friends

Suitability for a multitude of purposes and functional design were the guiding principles in furnishing the dining hall. The location of furniture was determined on the basis of service counters and the directions by which pupils move to make the lunch break a smoother experience for everyone. In selecting the furniture, the use of the hall as a versatile learning space outside lunchtime was also considered. Thanks to the multi-level solution, the dining hall doubles as a venue for performances and events.

Riihenmäki School is an outstanding example of a project where the harmonious architecture, colours and furniture in the building together create an enjoyable work environment for all its users.